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Comedian Joe Matarese

I recently had an audition in NYC to play an ice cream man in a national tv commercial. The script was really funny, it had me saying things about life to kids that they were way too young to understand. The character was trying to make the kids not interested in buying this ice cream from the ice cream man.

This ice cream was geared towards adults because it has far less sugar than most ice creams. I obviously don’t want to say the brand, but you can make a guess of your own to which ice cream you think it was. The script also had a sketched-out illustration of the action happening in the ad with comedian Bill Burr’s face on the ice cream man. My name was called soon after looking at the script and I then walked into the audition room. The 2 casting directors were the only people in the room, and as I walked in, they said friendly hello’s and began to explain to me what they were looking for from me when playing the ice cream man. I then told them the ad was really funny and it reminded me of the scene from Louis CK’s FX show where his daughter keeps asking why to all of his questions and Louis CK keeps answering her as if she was an adult and could understand. Then both casting directors in their early 30’s I would say said “We don’t say his name out loud here”. And wham, all the comedy just left the room in one sentence. I said I’m not condoning what he did just for the record here. I felt I had to say that, since they were so all of a sudden so serious. Then they said it again “We don’t say his name here, let’s move on.” I couldn’t believe it. Is this what our world is becoming? We can’t have open conversations anymore? We can’t say certain words without people getting offended and very uncomfortable.

I really believe these things need to be able to be openly discussed, and we need to be able to find the comedy in the darkest of dark subjects. Comedy is meant to heal people that are hurting, it’s never meant to hurt people all over again. That’s what therapy is really. I’ve been going to therapy for many years, and I truly love it and think it’s very necessary and that everybody should go. It helps you because you are forced to talk about things. Our world is getting to this really sterile and non-communicating like place where everyone is slowly becoming socially awkward.

Ok, back to the audition, how the hell was I supposed to get back to trying to give you a funny performance in the audition you ask to me to come in and read for after you just got really awkward an odd. I still stand by that words shouldn’t offend actions should offend. If everyone in today’s world gets offended by just words, and won’t let our comedians find the funny in everything, I’m really afraid for the world my kids will be living in. More later I’m sure on this subject, I just wanted to share that odd interaction with you guys and get your thoughts on the situation.

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Joe

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